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Tyrannosaurus Rex is the most famous dinosaur. It has spawned a significant number of books and films, including the popular Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Television series, video games, and lots more.
Thanks to a number of well preserved fossils, the T-Rex has been studied in detail by paleontologists all around the world. And, one very sure thing is that Tyrannosaurus Rex was a creature of many interesting facts. Ranging from the diet to its body make-up to its fearless hunting skills, you will be amazed at what this creature can do.
We will discuss some very interesting T. Rex facts for kids and adults in this article, and, of course, shed light on some controversial things about it. So, let’s get to it.
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You can get a quick learn about T.Rex first, with 9 fast facts as follows:
- Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the most ferocious predators to ever walk the Earth. With a massive body, sharp teeth, and jaws so powerful they could crush a car.
- The pronunciation of the T.Rex is “tye-RAN-uh-SAWR-us-REX”, and the tyrannosaurus rex meaning is “Tyrant Lizard”.
- T.Rex has lived in North America during the Upper Cretaceous period, about 66 to 68 million years ago.
- The first partial Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was discovered in 1900, by Barnum Brown in Wyoming, USA.
- An adult T.Rex may have a length of 13 meters (42ft), a height of 4 meters (13ft).
- It weighs up to 16 tons.
- The top speed of the T.Rex has been estimated at around 25 miles per hour.
- T.Rex was a carnivorous predator, that mainly preyed on other herbivorous dinosaurs like Triceratops and Ankylosaurus.
- The life span of these scary dinosaurs is at least 28 years.
General Body Description
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The King of dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex, was a predatory dinosaur. It was massive with a very muscular body and walked on its powerful hind legs. Its arms, compared to the size of its body, were tiny.
T. Rex had two claws at the end of each arm, and its feet had three claws, with a fourth located further up the foot. Its head was massive, and its powerful jaws were filled with between 54 and 60 long, sharp teeth.
The big teeth, forward-facing eyes, a pointed head shape ensuring an excellent binocular vision, amongst many other features, are all scientists and paleontologists needed to know the giant T. Rex was a predator. This helps an animal gauge how far away something is – useful for a hunter.
Usually, animals of prey have their eyes on the sides of their heads. This comes in handy when they need to look for predators, but it becomes not so good when they need to hunt for food actively. T. Rex had a flexible neck, allowing it to make smart and rapid changes in direction to grab fleeing prey.
A more significant part of its brain was designed for vision and smell. This ensured Tyrannasauraus Rex could locate and prowl prey. Most of its prey, like the Triceratops, might not even be aware that a T. Rex was nearby!
Where Was T. Rex found?
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A little history. Many years back, precisely in 1902, Barnum Brown, who was the assistant curator for the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, discovered a partial skeleton of T. rex at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana. That skeleton became the holotype specimen for creature—the single specimen designated as the name-bearing representative of a new species. Over the next few years, he and his team recovered various specimens on their expedition out west.
Today, over 50 T. Rex specimens have been discovered in what is now western North America.
Meaning of the Name
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In 1905, Henry Fairfield Osborn, a paleontologist and president of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, selected the immortal name Tyrannosaurus Rex. Tyrannosaurus is the Greek word for “Tyrant Lizard” and Rex, the Latin word for ‘King.’ Hence, Tyrannosaurus Rex means Tyrant King Lizard or, if you will, “King of the tyrant lizards.” A proper name, you’d agree.
Just like all scientific species names, the first word (in this case Tyrannosaurus) can be shortened to its initial if the name is used repeatedly. Hence, Tyrannosaurus rex is often abbreviated to T. Rex. It’s a lot easier to say as well!
When Did they live?
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T. Rex lived, alongside some other large dinosaurs like the Triceratops, in the Late Cretaceous Period, around 68 million years ago. T. Rex was one of the last dinosaurs of its kind to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event that wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs. You can read the blog Dinosaur lifespan: How long did a dinosaur live? if you want to know more about their lifespan.
Where did they live?
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Tyrannosaurus Rex lived throughout western North America on what was then an island continent known as Laramidia.
How Big Was the T. Rex?
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The Tyrannosaurus Rex was a giant dinosaur. In fact, it is one of the biggest land-based predators ever to have walked the earth. Based on fossil specimens, scientists have assumed that a Tyrannosaurus rex body was around 12 meters (40 ft.) long. It stood around 3.66 meters (12 ft.) tall at the hips. T Rex weighed between 8 and 9.5 tonnes (17,637 and 20,944 lb). That’s about 5,000 and 7,000 kilograms with skin and flesh on its huge bones. To put that in context, that’s about the same as four cars!
What Was Tyrannosaurus Rex Diet?
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These fearsome prehistoric creatures were carnivores, feasting on the flesh of the unlucky animals they caught—a fearsome predator at that. Apart from fossilized stomach contents, teeth are our best clues to the diets of dinosaurs. The teeth of carnivorous animals are usually sharp, serrated dagger-like blades. We will talk more about the teeth shortly.
This set of teeth enables the animal to kill the prey and shred the meat before swallowing. However, unlike some predators, T. Rex didn’t chop or grind its food; it swallowed chunks whole.
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Moreover, besides its sharp serrated teeth, the lower jaw of T. Rex had a joint midway through its length that may have helped absorb some of the shock generated by struggling prey. An excellent example of prey is Triceratops. Triceratops were large dinosaurs.
Although a fully grown Triceratops would give T. Rex a good fight, they were among some of the most haunted dinosaurs by T. Rex. Other examples on the menu for T. Rex include Hadrosaurs such as Ceratopsians, Edmontosaurus, and possibly some of the giant sauropods would all have been.
What’s more interesting about these old fearsome creatures is that they might have hunted themselves. Paleontologists and scientists found that some T. Rex specimens have bite marks that look like other T. Rex made them! Well, this may have been caused by fighting to establish dominance, cannibalism, or scavenging; like every other animal of prey, a big dinosaur such as the giant T. Rex isn’t going to pass up a free lunch – not even to another T. Rex!
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No doubt, the Tyrannosaurus Rex sat comfortably at the top of the food chain wherever it was found. That’s because a full-grown T. Rex would have had no natural predators. Also, T. Rex may not have hunted alone, and as we said earlier, may even have been hunted by another T. Rex!
On the contrary, many clues show that T. Rex, although a hunter, may have found at least some of its food by scavenging.
How Powerful Was T. Rex Bite?
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From the recovered fossils of this prehistoric creature, scientists could tell that its jaw muscles were incredibly powerful from the way they were fixed to its skull. The skull and jaws, too, were built for strength. The T. Rex’s head was over 1.25 m (4.1 ft.) long, equipped with a set of 50-60 banana-sized teeth. They would have been able to crush bones – even thick leg bones – as well as cut through flesh! In fact, some scientists believe they could rip almost 100kg of meat off their victims in a single chomp! Very impressive!!
Fossilized specimens of Triceratops and other prey dinosaurs have broken bones that were likely to have been caused by T. Rex bites.
More so, dinosaurs obviously didn’t brush their teeth or floss. Some experts think pieces of rotten, bacteria-infested meat often stuck in its closely packed teeth gave Tyrannosaurus Rex a “septic bite,” which infected and eventually killed its wounded prey.
How Fast Was T. Rex?
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Usually, fossil trackways are used to estimate dinosaurs’ speed. And based on the fossil trackway, a T. Rex may reach a walking speed of 3 to 6 miles per hour. Determining the running speed might be a bit technical, but judging by the muscles and body design of large living animals coupled with the stress on the body caused by running.
Applying these metrics to extinct animals, they think that T. Rex was a slow runner, covering perhaps only about 10 miles (16 kilometers) per hour. That’s about as fast as an average human runner. Researchers think its large size may have reduced its speed.
T. Rex Tiny Arms
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Compare with every other part of T. Rex; the arms are the smallest. While that may not be entirely unusual, some scientists argue that its arms were too small to have served any useful purpose. However, the amount of muscle attached to the arm bones suggests that the arms, although short, were powerful and probably did had a function.
There are different theories as to what T. Rex’s arms were used for, including holding prey close to the jaws when eating, helping T. Rex to get up from the ground, amongst many others.
That’s it about some interesting facts about this wonderful prehistoric creature. The Tyrannosaurus Rex was a terrifying creature. One with lots of interesting facts and features that cannot be exhaustively covered in one article.
That’s where we draw the curtain on interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex facts. That’s not all there is to know about the King of dinosaurs; however, we hope you now know a few things about the creatures. And that, not only have you learned about the T. Rex itself, but you have also learned about how scientists and paleontologists draw up facts, piece by piece, about T. Rex’s life and appearance from fossilized remains.
Incredibly unique how just some pieces of rock could tell us so much about creatures that roamed the earth before us.
As dinosaur lovers, having a T. Rex puppet in your home will give your kids a closer feel of how beautifully terrifying the creature was. Hence, check out our stores to get the dinosaur puppet of T. Rex.
Learning More About Dinosaur
We hope that you have enjoyed this article. Now it is time to explore more awesome dinosaur information in the pages as follows: